About the Artist

Sigrid BurtonThe imagery and color in my work is referential and meant to evoke associations from the viewer; the specific content is intended to be ambiguous, mysterious. I draw, literally and figuratively, from the natural world; my imagery is derived from organic forms, including shells, plants, blossoms, fruits, and anatomical organs, as well as landscape. I am very interested, for example, in the relationship between botanical and anatomical structures. In addition, I have always been interested in the common language of forms, and the shared cross-cultural use of symbol and form throughout history.

My work often reflects the very direct influence of the culture, landscape and light of the places to which I have travelled. In 1991 and 1992 I first travelled to India. These trips initiated my current study of Indian art forms including Tantric diagrams, Moghul and Rajput painting. In 1994-95, I was awarded an Indo-American Senior Research Fellowship sponsored jointly by the Fulbright Council for International Education, the Smithsonian and the Indo-American Sub-Comittee on Education and Culture. My project was a study of the meaning and use of color in traditional Indian art forms.

My current body of work reflects the very profound influence of this experience and my subsequent investigations and study of Indian art theory and forms. For example, India has an ancient and sophisticated aesthetic theory which holds, broadly stated, that the importance of a work of art is the response that the work evokes from the viewer. Within this context, color is understood to have great expressive and communicative power. In addition, Indian philosophies employ diverse and fascinating symbologies and metaphors, and make interesting macrocosmic and microcosmic homologies. In particular, I have been interested in conceptualizations of the subtle body; systems based on an etheric body parallel to the anatomical body. Much of this has interesting relevance to contemporary art currents and and resonates with my own thinking.

– Sigrid Burton